State Constitutional Reforms: Recent Experiences

Published September 1, 1997

This document authored by Janice C. May highlights various constitutional reform efforts in the decade of the 1990’s.

Term limits on state legislators were just one of many popular reforms considered during the decade. 20 states eventually went on to impose term limits on their elected officials. Limits on how long an elected official serves in office remain in effect today.

Tax and spending limitations were also another popular measure during the 1990’s. The document describes California’s passage of Propoisition 13 in 1978 and how it may inspired states to consider similar action. Six states went on to impose stringent requirements on tax increases during that decade. Some of these measures include requiring a super-majority vote of legislators to increase taxes. 

Constitutional review commissions in Arkansas, California, Florida, New York, and Utah were also reviewed in this document.